Chapter #116 – The Training Hall’S Decision
“As for the members of the Domination Corps, you have the option to leave now after handing over everything given to you and swearing the oath that you will never speak to anyone of all the matters you have been privy to. Think, and make your choices.”
Oaths were eternal, until such a time that the one who the oath had been given to chose to release the oath and set the oath-taker free. In other words, time limits could not be set on oaths. Thus, Daneel had decided to give this chance to everyone to choose the course of their lives. He had no intention to force anyone.
Seeing the expressions of almost everyone in the field enter into ones of deep thought, he decided to wait for their response while ruminating about his plan for the offer from the Hidden Kill Sect.
For the training, there was no special requirement of age or power level. Only talent was required, but with the techniques he would give out, this wouldn’t be much of a problem.
After all, if he could choose between a high-talent assassin who wasn’t completely loyal to him and a mid-talent assassin who had sworn to follow his every order, he would choose the latter without a heartbeat.
Loyalty was a fickle thing. Daneel had already realized this both when he saw Laravel betray the King and the Eldest Prince betray his father.
Thus, the only way to ensure loyalty was the oath.
It was also not practical to expect talented soldiers to swear such binding oaths. Most of the elites in the army were only bound by simple oaths, and they had the power to leave whenever they chose after their minimum consignment period was up. Their main objective of staying in the army was to gain experience and use the resources given to grow as strong as possible. After that, the world was their oyster.
Hence, Daneel’s plan was to handpick 100 soldiers with the highest possible talent in the army who were willing to swear the oath, along with 100 of the best seeds in the Domination Corps. The aim was to send a total of 100 mages and 100 fighters, as each type of assassin had different uses and applications all of which were vital.
“I am sorry My King, but I cannot bring myself to swear such a binding oath. I love to be free, and even this technique cannot change that yearning of mine.”
The one who spoke out and pulled Daneel away from his thoughts was a woman who seemed to be 30 years old. Although he didn’t know her name, he knew that she was one of the best fire magic instructors in the training hall.
Felix had already warned Daneel about this happening. In his own words, the training hall was a place which called for those who wanted a safe haven that they could call home while also not binding them in any way, allowing them to be as free as they wanted. Such individuals would find it very hard to swear the oath.
And just as he said, at least half of the instructors nodded as they heard the woman speak.
Half of them!
These were all individuals who had reached at least the Eminent Human realm as fighters or mages. If they trained using the technique Daneel gave, reaching the Exalted Human realm would be a given whereas even the Warrior realm wouldn’t be a pipe dream.
“You must have understood that if you swear the oath and train in the technique, it is possible to reach the Warrior realm and double your life span before you die. Does this not appeal to you?”
He couldn’t help but ask, as the curiosity had been becoming unbearable.
The Warrior Realm! At that level, one would be showered with gifts almost anywhere in the continent. With a longer lifespan, they could even set out to explore the beautiful sights of Angaria or even try to enter the Big Four who had the strongest techniques in the whole continent!
Wealth, fame and power. They could all be theirs, and all they had to do was trust Daneel.
“My Lord, can we speak privately?”
Hearing this, Daneel was a little puzzled, but he acquiesced to the request.
After moving a little distance away from the clearing, he nodded to Kellor to cast the mute spell.
As the surrounding sounds all faded away to be replaced by an absolute silence, the woman in front of him gave him a smile. She wore a loose, white shirt over brown pants, reminding Daneel of the tomboyish girls back on Earth. Now that he observed closely, he noticed that she was actually muscular, while her face was tanned. Her frizzy red hair fell to her shoulders, while she rubbed her long nose before starting to speak.
“I am called Volma, Your Majesty. I only had a simple question, but I did not want to state it in front of all those hopeful teens. Can you guarantee that I will be alive in 10 years time if I do swear the oath to you and accept the technique?”
Daneel was actually dumbstruck as he heard the question.
Indeed, it was a simple one. But he had no answer.
His objective in building the Domination Corp was to create a force which would answer only to him. They might be deployed for anything, from covert operations to military excursions, where death would always be a possibility.
Thus, could he guarantee that she would be alive 10 years later? No, he definitely couldn’t. No matter how well things turned out, death might be inevitable. He had seen the reality of this when the Vice Sect-Master of the Withering Leaf Sect had casually allowed the attacks from the King and the Court Mages to hit the nobility behind him. In fact, he still remembered that shocking sight of burnt and disfigured bodies to this day.
This was not a peaceful world, and especially with the existence of magic, anything was possible.
“You cannot, My King. As people who have seen the world, we know that this is obvious. But do those teens know the same? Maybe some know of it subconsciously, but their reasons at the time for swearing the oath must have clouded their judgment. Elanev told me how the Corps was formed. If there had been no smoldering hate, would they make the same decision?”
Daneel could not speak a word. Indeed, he had never put himself in their shoes.
When they swore the oath, the injustices they had suffered had been forefront on their minds. But now, those matters no longer existed.
At this moment, Daneel cursed himself for not realizing this and telling everyone clearly what was at stake. It was his duty to lay everything out, and he had neglected it.
Of course, he still had the option to not do so and let them make the choice. But he was not that kind of a person. He wished for all those who followed him to do so on their own free will, rather than be beguiled. Thus, although the option entered his mind, he discarded it instantly.
Now that he knew about it, Daneel did not wish to dally.
“Give me a moment.”, he said, before striding back to his previous position.
Volma said nothing, opting to look at Daneel as he walked away. A smile was on one side of her face, while she looked forward to seeing what the young King would do.
“Everyone. I need to tell you one more thing. The Domination Corps will be my personal army, who will carry out specialized operations for the good of the Kingdom and Angaria as a whole. There will be a risk of death, and I cannot guarantee that things will not go wrong. In other words, you may die. I know that you gave your oaths before because your minds were filled with the hate and anguish from the suffering you endured due to the nobles. Now, there is no such thing weighing on you. You are free to choose your own path. The only thing I can promise is that I will always value you as my brothers and sisters in arms, and I will never be as callous with you as the previous King was with the army. That is all I can say.”
As Daneel stopped speaking, another hush came over the clearing.
He had been as blunt as possible, because just as Volma said, they needed to know the truth. He also did not utter empty words, because he could guarantee nothing else.
This time, there was not a single person who did not get expressions of deep consternation on their faces as they contemplated their options.
Daneel felt as if some weight had lifted from his own mind. Thinking a bit, he realized that it had been guilt which had formed when he heard Volma’s words. Guilt from not doing his duty and informing his potential followers of everything involved.
Thinking that he still had a lot to learn, he committed this to his heart and mind before walking back to Volma.
Only, the words she said as he arrived startled him, making him look back and glare at Felix.
“I apologize in advance My King, so please don’t be angry. You have passed the test decided by the Master of the Training Hall to find out for ourselves about your character. If you hadn’t, the inner core of the Hall would have left except for those who might be drawn to your technique, and our secret techniques would be just as their name suggests: secret. But now that you have, the full forces and resources of the Fists of Justice Training Hall are now available to you, ready to listen to your every order.”